Put Your Oxygen Mask on First, Before Assisting Others.

For many of us who have taken many flights, these words sound very familiar, but for those who haven’t been on a plane before, it’s worth illustrating it a bit,

Before the plane takes off, the flight attendants will start demonstrating the safety procedures, which include how to fasten and unfasten seatbelts, etc., and one sentence, in particular, goes something like this:

“In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, oxygen masks will automatically descend from the ceiling. Grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have childs travelling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs.

Hearing this sentence so many times, some might find it counter-intuitive, especially parents and practically anyone who is traveling with a loved one (s); why should you – in this critical time – attend to yourself first?

A while back, I asked a friend of mine, Talal Harb, who worked at the time as a Cabin-crew professional trainer for Emirates Airlines, about the reason. He mentioned that when the oxygen levels drop, you will likely lose consciousness momentarily until you have the oxygen mask on, which is more reasonably acceptable for a kid for a short timeframe than it is for an Adult.

If you want to go further about understanding what happens, it’s worth checking the experiment done by Destin Sandlin, who entered a special chamber with an astronaut to find out what happens if you don’t put on your mask. After a few minutes, Sandlin starts to lose brain function and cannot identify basic shapes. Soon, he can’t even speak or put his mask on, and someone must step in and put it on for him to prevent him from dying. And what was most interesting/shocking is that he returned so quickly. He went from half brain-dead and inches away from literally dead back to normal in seconds.

Now, what does this teaches us?

In our modern world, it has been thought that if you think of yourself first, you are considered “Selfish,” and that’s an inadequate adjective to be called by. And therefore, a lot of us fall into the trap of putting ourselves LAST many times while trying to be there for everyone else as an act of being unselfish, caring, and kind, and keep doing so until we run out of oxygen.

“If you want to have enough to give to others, you will need to take care of yourself first. A tree that refuses water and sunlight for itself can’t bear fruit for others.” ~ Emily Maroutian

In this week’s Monday Tip, I want you first to take a step back and think about the following for a few minutes,

“Are you going to be able to help your loved ones if you are not physically or mentally capable of doing so? Will you be able to help others make the right decisions while you yourself are under a lot of stress and pressure, will you actually help them, or are you risking giving them the wrong advice?”

So here’s my advice to you, take care of yourself FOR THEM, become the best of what you can be so you can be the best for them; in many situations, your loved ones will need a STRONG person next to them in their difficult times, and by that time you need to be that person; so take care of yourself first, and always put your own hypothetical mask on first before helping others because, by the time you’ve helped everyone else, you may not know how to help yourself.

Enjoy your week,

SC

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